Dental implants or in simple terminology, ‘fake teeth’ are replacement tooth roots that provide a strong base for replacement teeth.
Mostly anyone healthy enough to undergo oral surgery is suitable for a dental implant. It is recommended you visit a dentist to see if the procedure is appropriate for you, however in general you must:
- Have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant
- Be a non-smoker
- Be free of a gum disease called ‘periodontal disease’
- Be committed to good oral hygiene
The benefits of dental implants include:
- Dental implants last much longer than bridges or dentures
- Prevents bone loss related to missing teeth
- They are a great replacement option to removable dentures and bridges
- Dental implants do not cause wear and tear on the surrounding teeth
- Increase in patient self confidence
- There is no age restriction for a dental implant (unlike alternative options)
However there are occasionally some problems associated with dental implants. Sometimes dental implants are rejected as they fail to integrate with the bone. However this problem can be resolved by being replaced with another implant of a slightly larger size. Additionally, gum infections can develop although this is very rare, accounting for less than 5% of dental implant problems.
Coverage of dental implants by health insurers in Australia is limited and unlikely to cover much of the cost of dental implants.